ABSOLUTE AUTHOR INTERVIEW
Name of Book: So, You Want To Be A Doctoral Learner Huh? Are You Nuts ?!
Year Published: 2018 Publisher: Doctrine101 Press
Tell your readers a little about yourself. Where you grew up, where you live now, where you went to school etc. Let them get to know the personal you. Hi everyone! Thank you for reading my interview. I hope it brings some warmth to your soul as you read about me. I was born on the tiny beautiful island of St. Thomas, United States Virgin Islands. I currently reside in Texas with a desire to move to Florida. I earned my Doctor of Education in organizational leadership with an emphasis in development from a university located in the southwest region of the United States. My dissertation was written on the blind or visually impaired to understand how this population perceives employment, and how these perceptions motivated them to seek employment. They are falling into poverty and their degree level doesn’t matter.
What made you want to author this book? I must admit my temporary weakness as a human being motivated me to write my book. I wanted to warn learners about my negative experience I had with a chairperson. The university refused to help me, and I was angry. As time went by, I refused to allow this experience to have me cast negativity into the atmosphere. I decided to use it to help others get through their program.
What were your struggles or obstacles you had to overcome to get this book written? First thing was putting my anger and bitterness aside and writing as a rationale and mature adult. The second obstacle was getting over the sadness I felt while I started remembering things I had forgotten and being reminded of the deepest lows I felt for three years. Third struggle was personal; once it was written, I did not want to publish it. I didn’t think people would believe me; and was not sure it was written well enough. I am very private and had to share some of the darkest times of my life and I did not know what niche to market it in and I thought it would flop. Once it was finished, I had another struggle with accepting that I had to self-publish because a national book publisher would probably not touch me. Somehow it got out that I was trying to publish a book and people started contacting me. They wanted me to put money up front for publication. I asked an author how she got a national publisher for her books. She told me that a reputable publisher would look for me and would never ask for money up front. I believed her; she has published many books. One of her books was turned into a movie. I declined any offer to pay upfront for publication. After that information, I got over the issue of trying to self-publish. The most important thing was to get my book published, and self-publishing is so much fun!
Tell your readers about your book. My book is about my personal experience as an online doctoral learner. I start from when I decided to start my program to the end of my journey. I only focused on the things that made me decide to quit my journey. I provide some tips I believe that will help any learner if they choose to use them. The book is short with 131 pages. I kept this in mind so that the learner can read it quickly in between those down times of their document being dissected to the Nano. Learners do not have time to read because they are too busy researching and writing. I consider my work to be a guidebook wrapped around my story. A learner read my book and said she went through the tips carefully and highlighted things she wanted to use. Not everyone will agree with everything I wrote, but it worked for me and I stand by it. The proof is in the pudding, and there will always be a critic.
What will your readers learn from this book? I discussed several things in this book. I wanted to cram as much information as I could within those short pages. I talked about how I chose my program, the difference between an Ed.D. and Ph.D. I did this so if someone is unsure of which program to choose, they can research which is best for them. I started out as a PhD learner and if you read the book, you will understand why I chose the Ed.D. program. I wrote about how to take care of your mind, body and spirit simultaneously. My experience I had during two residencies, my experience with my chairperson and the university, my very emotional data collection experience, two health crisis’s that could have taken my life, the death of my closest cohort member, how the powerful words of “THANK YOU” changed my journey when I finally decided to quit, and when I climbed the short steps to being hooded as Dr. Davis. There is a lot of information that I did not mention here. If you go to Amazon.com and hit the look inside feature, you should see my table of contents. Though much of the book is heavy, there is some humor. The entire experience was not unfortunate.
Who is your target audience and why? I think my book can help anyone who choose any level of higher education as an option, but I authored the book to help individuals before they decide to apply for a program or someone who is already going through a PhD or an EdD program. I want them to understand that whatever they are feeling, someone else is feeling it too. They must find a support system if they are going to succeed. They are not failures even if they quit, and that the most important lesson to walk away with is, that this difficult journey is not about them. It is about their participants.
If you were going to give one reason for anyone looking at your book to read, why should they buy it? Because I lived their story. I have been there, I know what they are about to go through. I know what they are going through right now as they are reading this message with tears streaming down their faces. I quit my journey, yet here I am with a doctorate degree that no one can ever take away from me.
What do you consider your greatest success in life? My children are by far my biggest success in my life. They are the only people who has ever heard my heartbeat from the inside. They are little devils to raise but if you stick it out, they make your life worth living.
When you look at yourself in the mirror, what would you tell your younger self about obtaining a higher education? I started laughing when I read this question. I was a horrible, horrible student. My undergraduate transcript is so bad that I was glad to earn my master’s so that I could throw that transcript into the abyss of forgetfulness. Between my master’s and Doctoral program, I was invited to join four honor societies, and I only accepted two. I never imagined that would happen. My grandmother instilled the power of education in me because of her circumstances. I never forgot it and never imagined that I would have a doctoral degree. I would be very honest with that little girl and tell her that there is a negative side of obtaining higher education. The higher a degree you earn, the harder it is to find employment. You always have to be willing to go back to school depending on where you move too or start working for yourself. Your degree might be something you can use in one part of the country, but if you move to another, your skill set might not be marketable there. You may not find a job in the field for which you went to school and you should learn a skill. I used to be an aviation mechanic. It put food on my table for many years without the use of a degree. Last, you do not have to prove yourself to anyone, but you will always have to compete with someone.
What advice can you give anyone who is considering entering a doctoral program?You will no longer have a lot of time to spend with your family; so, always talk it over with your spouse and children and ask for their support. I have seen many divorces during this journey. Be very careful when choosing your university whether it is online or brick and mortar. Do not be so concerned on whether it is an Ivy league university or not. Many of us cannot afford such luxuries. If the university is teaching, you are learning, and you can afford to attend then do it. If you decide to enter a program because you want to be called Doctor, forget it; you are going to fail. Make sure your university is accredited and the kind of accreditation. Always research everything about any university for cost, graduation rates, the Better Business Bureau reports. Always ask if you get to choose your chairperson, or if they are assigned to you. You will either be a Doctor, or you are going to need one; so, no matter how hard the journey, enjoy the heck out of the ride.
Everyone has life lessons to learn, tell your readers one or two of yours and how they make you the strong woman you are today. When I was younger, I passed up so many opportunities due to low self-esteem. Never pass up an opportunity. Regret is one of the most horrible emotion to live with. If you want to do something and you are afraid or scared, do it afraid or scared. If you fail, so what? Failure is where you learn the most of life’s lessons. Once you learn those lessons, it is to be used to help others. In my mature self, these lessons have made me the strong woman that am today.
What one unique thing sets you apart from other writers in your genre? Here I am again laughing while I read this question. I have no idea what genre my book belongs in — I am thinking self-improvement, education, higher education. What does make it stand out is that it is not just a book about my experience? I put information in the back of the book to help you to start thinking of terms you must become familiar with to achieve your goals. I provide graphics for you to stick wherever you would like to so that it can give you the determination to continue when you want to quit. The sad truth is, no matter what you do many of you will not finish and that is ok.
How did you come up with the idea for your book? Anger and bitterness gave me the idea to write this book. I started writing it in 2016, but I had to wait until I graduated so that I could tell the entire story. It ended up being a beautiful book of triumph.
Tell your readers anything else you want to share. I am a daredevil! I try to do something every year that scares the heck out of me! One year I went flying in a noisy four-seater. Another year I went skydiving in tandem. I have never been so scared in my life. Another year I took a motorcycle class and ended up having to take the walk of shame because I got kicked out half way through. I was trying to think of something for next year.
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